Originally Posted by DrunkenPorcupine
I have, willingly, been a secondary. We used that term among ourselves. I don't think it was a negative thing at all. That is, of course, because I WANTED to be the non-primary partner in that relationship. "Below priority of the primary" was what my role in that relationship was, and it's the role I wanted at the time.
I think secondary is a good term. It can be a great place to be as well. The term is descriptive of the situation. If the term applies, and causes discomfort, people shouldn't change the term. They should strike at the root and fix the discomfort.
So have I. I was in a relationship with a married woman, and was totally committed to the idea that the married relationship was not to be damaged by my relationship. "Secondary" supplied that idea perfectly, both for myself and even more importantly for my metamour.
In our case, secondary did not mean I was an inferior person; it did mean that if a fundamental conflict arose between the continued existence of both relationships, we all knew which one would end. This being what we wanted, in that situation and at that time, the word secondary was perfect.
[taken out of sequence from your post]
There's a lot of input here by people who seem to find the word "secondary" to be negative.
Perhaps those people should really evaluate themselves and their relationships before attempting to put a term to it.
This is unfair. I can imagine other situations where the imbalance was not an important part of the dynamic, yet where calling the two relationships both primary would also be misleading. I think we need other words to convey other ways the relationships can differ: probably not just one new word but several.
NB: please note I am a secondary River on these boards and in this thread, ie not the River who posted several times already